Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Michael Sutton


Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) pose a significant threat to armed forces and civilians throughout the world, especially in conflict areas. Combat vehicles must continue to adapt to mitigate the risks of injury and fatality to passengers when exposed to the effects of an IED blast. Various hull designs, stand off distances and burial depths are tested and compared both to characterize the effects of the simulated IED event on the floorboard, and to determine which hull combinations are most likely to provide protection to a passenger in a vehicle exposed to such acceleration forces from an explosive detonation.

This research uses synchronized high-speed digital cameras to record the effects of a blast event on a 14"x16" sample in a non-contact manner allowing analysis with 3-D Digital Image Correlation techniques. Small scale results were scaled to approximate full scale conditions to apply head injury criterion (HIC) value, supplementing acceleration data in determining the likelihood that a passenger in a vehicle exposed to that specific blast event would have survived. Although the maximum g-force experienced in such an event can be well beyond the tolerance that a human being could withstand over time, the short duration exposures coupled with magnitude mitigation due to shaped hull designs result in a significantly higher likelihood of survivability in some upgraded designs. Results presented include experimental detonations with the floorboard exposed, with a single hull separating the floorboard from the ground, and with multiple or alternatively shaped hulls using similar parameters to the standard single hull tests for comparison.


© 2009, Gary Shultis Jr.